There’s a Hero

If you haven’t noticed already, I am a sucker for inspirational stories. In fact, my movie collection is full of the “battling against all odds but succeeding in the end” variety. The pile includes videos such as Rudy, Rocky 1, Hero, My Cousin Vinny, Seabiscuit, October Sky, the Lord of the Rings despite its violence (photo at right: Sam’s unconquerable spirit gave him strength to carry Frodo to the the top of Mt. Doom), and Gandhi despite its very sad ending. Yeah, yeah, yeah all these videos are kinda maudlin. But give me credit for My Cousin Vinny which is really fun.

Anyways, luckily for us, we don’t have to depend too much on movies to find inspiring tales. The stories of those who made it to our List of Achievers would also make very inspiring movies. Aba, think for instance about the story of our kailian Ruben Guinolbay, a decorated war hero now being incarcerated by a usurper. The cinematic possibilities are endless: Guinolbay carrying his soldiers to safety while the Abu Sayyaf are sniping at them. Guinolbay receiving a medal of valor from the usurper (I’m not really sure if he received it from the usurper but we are talking about movies here). Guinolbay being psychologically abused in prison (Maybe true or maybe not but he is getting thinner). Guinolbay in a trial court shouting something like, “Out of order? This court is out of order!” Hey GMA-7, enough of that undocumented Cordillera tribes crap and make a telemovie about Ruben Guinolbay.

Another inspirational tale is the story of the Concerned Citizens of Abra for Good Government (CCAGG). If you think Abra is only about bloody politics, Conrado Balweg, and AbreƱo cowboys, you should think again. It is also a province where ordinary people are making a difference. How so, you ask? Well they are monitoring infrastructure projects to ensure that these are built in the way they are supposed to be built. Because of its work, CCAGG received a Transparency International Integrity Award six years ago. Also, the government’s Commission on Audit must have been really impressed with CCAGG that it partnered with them in auditing government projects. I’m sure CCAGG won other numerous awards and commendations.

More important than awards however is the fact that CCAGG inspired others to realize that they can take matters in their own hands and help change things for the better. Years ago, I met someone from Bauko, Mt. Province who belongs to an organization inspired by the CCAGG story. Like CCAGG, this organization also monitored the municipal infrastructure projects being implemented in the town and the mayor, I was told, eventually appreciated what they were doing. Let’s hope that they continue to do their good work.

PHOTO CREDIT: New Line Cinema via

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